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Maori Wardens A Vital Resource

Media Release

14 August 2006

Maori Wardens A Vital Resource

New Zealand First is supportive of a new project involving Maori wardens in reducing alcohol-related harm, and says that community-based joint initiatives such as this one are more likely to succeed.

“The project has been successfully trialled in South Auckland, and is now operating in other areas, including Rotorua and Lower Hutt,” said Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone.

“It takes a unified and localised approach to minimising the harm caused by alcohol. Maori wardens work with the police, local government and other agencies, and their role is mainly one of patrolling licensed premises and acting as the eyes and ears for the enforcement agencies.

“Maori wardens have been involved in this ground level work since their inception, so it’s nothing new in that sense. They have long worked to ensure that drinking-related laws are being followed by bars and pubs, and have been a welcome presence in our cities and towns looking out for our young people.

“What is new is the joining of forces with other agencies, which so far is proving to be effective.

“I am pleased to see this co-operative, community-level approach to reducing harm caused by alcohol, and I am confident that my Private Member’s Bill to raise the drinking age will succeed, and will be welcomed by those agencies such as Maori wardens who deal with the effects of alcohol on teenagers every weekend,” said Mr Paraone.


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